By Chris Morris
September 17, 2018

Apple will release its next update for iPhones and iPads Monday, adding new features to existing phones and paving the way for the release of the new line of devices announced last week, including the iPhone Xs and Xr models.

If Apple follows its usual pattern, iOS 12 should be available sometime after 1 p.m. ET. And if you’re eager to install it on your phone or tablet, it’s a pretty easy process: Open the settings tab, select “General” and tap on the “Software Update” option. You will need to be on a Wi-Fi connection and, if your battery life is below 50%, have a charger handy.

If the update is available, it will begin to install.

The new operating system comes with a number of new features and improvements for users (though some anticipated ones, like Group Facetime, allowing up to 32 people to engage in a video chat at once, have been delayed). Among the most notable are:

Performance Updates

Apple says enhancements will make apps more responsive, meaning you’ll be able to take pictures faster and launch apps in less time. The updates will improve the performance of phones back to the iPhone 5s and the original iPad Air.

Personalized Animoji

Like Nintendo’s Mii characters, you’ll now be able to make an emoji that resembles you—and utilize Apple’s animated emoji technology when sending them in messages and Facetime. Four new animoji are also being added, including a T. Rex.

Screen Time

Worried about how much time you or your kids spend on a phone or tablet? This feature will track usage and let parents set limits.

Notifications

With so many apps pushing notifications to users, the home screen has become fairly cluttered for many people. Instant Tuning will let you reduce those interruptions, grouping them together so you can more easily see the ones that are most important to you.

Do Not Disturb

Need some alone time? This feature will block alerts, messages, or calls for whatever period of time you set. It will also automatically turn off once that period ends, ensuring you’re not cut off entirely if you forget to reset your phone.

Photo Search

Our phones are clogged with photographic memories, which can make it hard when you’re looking for a specific shot. This new feature makes it a bit easier.

Redesigned stocks app

Keep track of how the markets are doing with this new look for the stocks app. Also, it will finally be available for iPad users as well.

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